Paramiopsalis ramulosus, JUBERTHIE, 1962

Murienne, Jérôme & Giribet, Gonzalo, 2009, The Iberian Peninsula: ancient history of a hot spot of mite harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones: Cyphophthalmi: Sironidae) diversity, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 156 (4), pp. 785-800: 790-791

publication ID 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2008.00512.x


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scientific name

Paramiopsalis ramulosus



The third species described for the Iberian Peninsula was also described originally from Portugal, from Pessegueiro, in the Aveiro Province, based on specimens collected by M. H. Coiffait in April 1960. Later, its range was extended to the north-west Iberian Peninsula, with several localities in the provinces of A Coruña, Pontevedra, and León, in Spain ( Rambla & Fontarnau, 1984). We have not been able to locate the type specimens of the species, and all illustrations appearing in the literature ( Rambla & Fontarnau, 1984; de Bivort & Giribet, 2004) are from specimens collected in Moscoso. New collections (see below) from the Costa Verde, in northern Portugal, also belong to this species.

With c. 1.8 mm in carapace length, this is the largest Iberian cyphophthalmid species. It was originally described as belonging to the subfamily Stylocellinae   (sensu Hansen & Sørensen, 1904), for having the coxa of leg II fused to that of leg III, as do the members of the currently recognized families Stylocellidae   , Ogoveidae   , and Neogoveidae   ( Hansen & Sørensen, 1904; Shear, 1980). Its systematic position was later on emended by Shear (1980), who placed it within its current family, Sironidae   . The unique plumose adenostyle (that gives origin to the specific epithet; see Rambla & Juberthie, 1994: plate I, figs 4–6; de Bivort & Giribet, 2004: fig. 32i), the typical Siro   ozophores, anal plate, and anal gland, or the typical Parasiro   Odontosiro   anal region (with sternites 8 and 9 fused, but not fused with tergite IX; see de Bivort & Giribet, 2004: fig. 38i), make an original combination of characters that legitimately deserve generic status. Although Paramiopsalis   and Odontosiro   overlap in their areas of distribution, they are clearly different morphologically.

New collections: Ponte San Miguel, Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês, Serra do Gerês (Braga Province, Região Norte, Portugal), Ponte do Rio Omen, Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês, Serra do Gerês (Braga Province, Região Norte, Portugal), Bouza de Mo, Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês, Serra do Gerês (Braga Province, Região Norte, Portugal), near Celeiro (Braga Province, Região Norte, Portugal), Garfe, Póvoa de Lanhoso (Braga Province, Região Norte, Portugal).

New Paramiopsalis species   : Recent collections from Fragas do Eume , A Coruña (Galicia), by E. Mateos in April and November 2006 yielded seven male, five female, and three juvenile specimens of a new species of Paramiopsalis   that we describe here, in his honour   .

Fragas do Eume is a unique ecosystem in Europe. 3 Bordering the river of the same name (84 km long), the trees (black poplars, alders, and oaks) are the main elements of an ecological system (Atlantic Forest) that is very characteristic, thanks to the proximity of the sea and the deep riverbanks, which led to the creation of a nature reserve in 1997.

3 Information about Fragas do Eume comes from a website to promote tourism in the Park consulted in November 2006:

According to legend, when God created the three rivers that rise in the Xistral mountain range (Eume, Landro, and Masma), he promised a man every year to the river that reached the sea first. Betrayed by the other two, which left it sleeping, the Eume had to traverse valleys and mountains in order to win. That is why it ended up being rough and wild, and why it takes the life of a man every year, or used to, before the reservoirs were built.

There are more than 9000 hectares of different kinds of woodland along the banks of five municipalities. Nearest to the river grow riverbank forests of black poplars and alders, with ferns and mosses, characteristic of the park, and also two rare species of daffodils. Oak forests appear further up the mountainous slopes. Although the flora is the best appreciated biota of Fragas, it also hosts some endemic and endangered animal species, including small amphibians, reptiles, numerous birds of prey, and large mammal species, such as the wolf.